Today, the Bradford v. Maryland State Department of Education legal team hosted a press conference with advocates in support of a letter sent yesterday by parents of students attending public schools in Baltimore City to Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne Jones. The advocates urged state leaders to act now and take specific steps to support the students’ right to an education and fulfill the state’s responsibility under the Maryland Constitution and binding court orders.
The letter detailed how the fiscal year 2022 budget and legislative session is an opportunity to recognize the unconstitutional lack of educational resources in Baltimore City, stop the snowballing generational effects of underfunded education, and make these communities whole.
“It is critical that the state of Maryland increases funding for Baltimore City Public School (BCPSS) students ahead of the 2022 fiscal year budget announcement,” said Ajmel Quereshi, Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). “For years, BCPSS students have contended with significantly underfunded educational resources due to the state's failure to meet its constitutional obligation to address these funding deficiencies. Now more than ever — especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when children are enduring unprecedented educational challenges — it is imperative that BCPSS students receive adequate financial support so they do not experience long-lasting academic ramifications.”
“The time is now for the state to take swift and bold action,” said Frank Patinella, Senior Education Advocate at the ACLU of Maryland. “We're calling on state legislative leaders and the governor to collaborate on a plan to address urgent matters for the upcoming school year, and we're calling on them to put education funding on the right track for the following year and beyond.”
Read the letter sent to Maryland’s state leaders here.